San Rafael, CA – Now that two applications have been approved, Marin County is a step closer to having its first legal delivery-only medicinal cannabis retail operations in its unincorporated areas.
With the Medicinal Cannabis Delivery-Only Retailer (MCDORe, or “McDory”) licensing ordinance as its guideline, the Marin County Board of Supervisors on July 23 authorized a license to EXPRESS2YOU at 76 San Pablo Avenue, just across an intersection from the Marin County Civic Center in the Santa Venetia neighborhood. The Board also authorized Community Development Agency (CDA) staff to conduct a lottery for a second license, and on July 24 it was awarded to Buttercup & Spring to open at 7 Mt. Lassen Drive in Lucas Valley.
Prior to opening for business, the two authorized applicants must submit a $7,000 fee for the MCDORe annual operating license to cover the costs of inspection and monitoring for compliance with the County and State of California cannabis regulations. In addition, the businesses need to complete tenant improvements and incorporate conditions of approval prior to being issued the annual operating license.
The MCDORe ordinance, adopted in November 2017, established a regulatory framework for four licenses. The ordinance requires retailers to be closed to the public and dispense medicinal cannabis exclusively by delivery. The County ordinance prohibits such businesses from being closer than 600 feet to a school, daycare center, youth center or playground. To qualify for consideration, a proposed site must be within an area zoned for commercial, office or industrial uses. Signage outside the businesses will be strictly limited.
Fifteen applications were received for the first round of the selection process in the summer of 2018. Of those, six applications qualified to advance to the next review phase. In January 2019, four businesses were selected by lottery to move forward in the process.
In May 2019, the four applicants submitted proposed locations for the delivery-only retailer businesses. Three of the four applicants proposed businesses on the same site at 7 Mt. Lassen Drive. CDA determined three businesses at one location would create cross-licensing complications and increase security concerns, so it proposed holding a lottery to select one of the three applicants for the property.
The two applicants not selected in the lottery may submit new site review applications for different locations within six months. New location proposals will undergo County staff review under the same procedures outlined in the MCDORe ordinance.
The County will not assess a local tax for medicinal cannabis retailers at this time, although retailers are required to collect state sales and excise taxes for medicinal cannabis sales in unincorporated Marin.
All other medicinal cannabis commercial activities are prohibited in unincorporated Marin. Towns and cities create regulations in their own jurisdictions.
Although cannabis is considered an illegal drug by the federal government, state legislation ensures that Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon receiving a recommendation from a physician. The MCDORe ordinance is consistent with state cannabis laws and regulations.
Learn more at www.marincounty.org/cannabis. The public is encouraged to register for emailed updates about the commercial cannabis program through its e-subscription service.